I am 5 years old, they ask me: What do you want to be when you’re older? “I want to be an artist,” I tell them.
I am 7 years old, they ask me: What do you want to be when you’re older? “I want to be a dancer,” I tell them.
I am 10 years old, they ask me: What do you want to be when you’re older? “I want to be a doctor“
I am 12 years old, they ask me: What do you want to be when you’re older? “I want to be a surgeon,” I tell them.
I am 14 years old, they ask me: What do you want to be when you’re older? “I want to be a lawyer,” I tell them.
I am 16 years old, they ask me: What do you want to be when you’re older? “I want to be a nutritionist,” I tell them.
I am 18 years old, they ask me: What do you want to be when you’re older? “I want to be an engineer“
Yesterday was the day I turned 19, nothing has changed for me. Except that I realized I still want to be all those things.
Who said you can only have one dream? Why did we grow up believing we can only be one thing? Why can’t I have the creativity of an artist, the flexibility of a dancer, the patience of a doctor, adequacy of a surgeon, quick wit of a lawyer, mindfulness of a nutritionist and the accuracy and problem solving of an engineer? Who said I can only have one thing to be known as? Why should we all be categorized as one thing only and stick to it our entire lives?
To have one goal ever since you are 5 years old and stick to it until you’re 24 is great, but that’s not for everyone. Not everyone is only good at one thing. Most of us are good at a lot of things actually, so having a single dream would be an utter waste of who we are. You can have only one major, but who’s to say that that’s the only thing that you’re good at? What about your character? When did society make us believe that we are only created to shadow the lines that were already there before us?
Let me give you an example:
- Start going to school
- Get into a good university
- Graduate from college
- Get a “real” job
It is a system created to teach you the basics of knowledge. It’s there to teach you rules, how to follow them and what the consequences are for breaking them. It is only teaching you “how to” everything. How to solve mathematical equations, how to read out loud or even how to play basketball. The truth about this system is that it doesn’t teach you to find your passion, it’s teaching you the standards.
Going on your own, discovering new hobbies and talents, that’s all on you. No one forces you to join extracurricular activities in or out of school, it’s your choice. You need to try new things outside of the basic schooling system because you’re the one living your life. No one else.
To be 19, taught me to be balanced. To be kind yet unapologetic. To be creative, athletic and logical. 19 taught me how to be everything that I can potentially become. It taught me that I am more than a college student, that I don’t need to be tied down to one thing only.
I kept thinking of why I kept changing my mind too much. Every single time I changed my mind and people would ask me, I’d feel somewhat ashamed. I felt as though I came off as indecisive, unfocused or just trying too hard. I came to realize the truth is that I’m none of those things. I kept finding myself in everything new I tried. But turning 19, as I realize in my last teenage year, I am all of those new things I tried. I am all the people I’ve watched, I am all the stories and books I read. I am everything and one person at the same time. The reason I’m choosing to share this is that I discovered that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Many of the people I met faced the same thoughts, they thought they belonged nowhere. Truth be told, they belong everywhere.
Indulge everything you learn, let it be a part of who you are. You’re not just a major or a degree, you’re not just the books you read nor the movies you watch and you’re not just the people you talk to, they are all a part of who you are. Embrace your everythingness, welcome your wholeness. Let my 19 be your 17 or 21. Don’t set boundaries to your dreams, be everything and anything all at once.